Dallas Yanks Occupy Dallas Agreement - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas Yanks Occupy Dallas Agreement

City says group did not obtain required insurance coverage



    Occupy Dallas no longer has an agreement with the city of Dallas to stay in Pioneer Plaza, but the group is vowing to continue its demonstrations.

    The group, which was inspired by a series of national protests over the state of the economy, has occupied the park since Thursday.

    Occupy Dallas had a special permit from the city to stay in Pioneer Plaza overnight provided the group acquired $1 million in liability insurance by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

    But the city said in a statement Tuesday night that its agreement with Occupy Dallas is "no longer applicable" because the group did not obtain standard insurance coverage.

    City Pulls Permit for Occupy Dallas Over Lack of Insurance

    [DFW] City Pulls Permit for Occupy Dallas Over Lack of Insurance
    The city has revoked an agreement that would have allowed Occupy Dallas to stay in Pioneer Plaza overnight.
    (Published Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011)

    "I have spent half of the day trying to find an insurance company that will write an insurance policy for something like this, and guess what? There isn't any, so this business of asking for a million dollars worth of insurance is asking for something that's an impossibility to comply with -- simple as that," Occupy Dallas attorney Cameron Gray said.

    The city said police would begin enforcing local laws, such as park curfews and prohibitions against sleeping in public, as early as Tuesday night.

    Similar demonstrations have been held in cities across the country. Dallas is said to be the only city where there have not been any arrests.

    "Occupy Dallas" Wants to Occupy Overnight

    [DFW] "Occupy Dallas" Wants to Occupy Overnight
    "Occupy Dallas" the group protesting Wall Street and the banking industry has a special permit from the city to stay in Pioneer Plaza overnight, but now needs insurance.
    (Published Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011)

    Hundreds of protesters remained in downtown Dallas as of late Tuesday night.

    Attorneys for Occupy Dallas directed demonstrators to areas where they could set up camp without fear of being arrested and advised them to keep their voices down after 10 p.m.

    "I've talked with the city and the police, and there is a certain area -- and I have a map -- where they can stay here legally without a permit, without fear of going to jail," Gray said.

    Gray said the group plans to file a federal injunction on Wednesday that would allow the demonstrators to remain indefinitely.

    "We will be trying to structure a court order that will allow people to stay here and exercise their constitutional rights without fear of arrest," he said.

    The Occupy Dallas group protested the permit process outside of City Hall on Tuesday morning, saying demonstrating is a right, not a privilege.

    The permit the city later revoked was different from a special events permit because the protest isn't an event. Because the demonstration takes place on city property, it needs a special permit.

    Occupy Dallas organizers originally applied for the permit in order to get portable bathrooms on site.

    "We don't like having to send them to public restrooms at two, three in the morning, walking around downtown Dallas by themselves," organizer Michael Prestonise said.

    About 100 to 200 people are staying at the park. There are tents set up for day care, food and medicine.

    The agreement the city revoked on Tuesday would have allowed the demonstrators to be in the plaza until Friday.

    Occupy Dallas said earlier Tuesday that it would consider filing an injunction against the city if it was not allowed to stay past this week.